Ah, April 15th. Tax Day.
When you pay taxes, you assume they'll be used to support education, health care, public transportation, and other programs that make your community stronger. That's true, but so is this: some of your hard-earned dollars might be bundled into a massive payout to a private prison company that cares more about profits than public safety.
Photo via Flickr
Recent headlines highlight what conflicting attitudes we Americans tend to hold about government. The still-unfolding tragedy in Oso, the debates over school and transportation funding, and the Supreme Court ruling on campaign contributions all underscore just what a messy process democracy is.
Photo by Martha Soukup used under a Creative Commons license.
It’s tax day — the annual event when procrastinators, or those who just like to live on the edge, rush to get their tax returns filed before the midnight deadline. If your return is safely filed, or if you just want another excuse to procrastinate, here are 5 things in 5 charts that everyone should know about Oklahoma taxes.
Our roads are in terrible shape. A bridge that connects two communities is closed for months, and the experts say other pieces of critical infrastructure are in bad shape. Our state mental health agency only has enough money to help the most desperate people, while thousands go without care. Our teachers aren’t paid at the regional average, despite lip service about how important they are to our children. Even our state Capitol, with its gorgeous new dome, is crumbling and festering. With all these needs, Gov.
Even as most states are enjoying budget surpluses, Oklahoma now faces faltering revenue collections and large budget shortfalls, which could lead to deeper cuts at a time when state agencies are still struggling to recover from the last downturn. Our Budget Trends and Outlook summarizes key points you should know. For a PDF version of this 2-page fact sheet, including 4 graphs, click here.
A quality educational system plays a critical role in a state’s economic success. For Minnesota to build an economy that works for everyone, all Minnesota children need access to quality education regardless of their race, income or where they live.